How do you rate yourself as a negotiator? Do you negotiate as if your life depends on it? Today’s special guest is an expert negotiator, and he shares negotiation tips that we can all use in our business and our lives. We learn how Chris became a negotiator, the four steps to negotiation, how these same principles can be applied in business, and more.

Chris Voss is a 24-year FBI veteran and was the lead international kidnapping negotiator when he retired. He is the author of the national bestseller Never Split The Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It. He is now the CEO of The Black Swan Group where he specializes in solving business communication problems using hostage negotiation solutions.

Show Notes

  • [03:13] Chris was originally on the SWAT team and he liked crisis response. He likes it when people have to make up their minds and make a decision.
  • [03:40] He had a knee injury, but he still wanted to be in crisis response,so he decided to become a hostage negotiator.
  • [04:23] Talking to people can be hard and Chris had to take a deep in-depth dive. He also had to volunteer on a suicide hotline to hone his emotional intelligence skills.
  • [04:44] He realized that empathy could be a played in hostage negotiation and in everyday life.
  • [05:22] Chris and the FBI started using empathy and emotional intelligence in bargaining in hostage negotiations. This was a shift from the FBI previous tactics.
  • [06:08] The active use of emotional intelligence changed everything in bargaining.
  • [06:34] Understanding doesn’t have to equate to agreement.
  • [07:48] You can also shift confrontation, so it’s not confrontational.
  • [08:07] Mirroring for hostage negotiators is just repeating the last three words of what someone has said. This actually creates a powerful connection in people’s heads and they say more.
  • [09:16] Criminals like everyone else want to relax and have a good time on Saturday night. By being patient they would frequently settle negotiations on Saturday morning.
  • [09:47] The four steps to negotiations. Use the late night FM DJ voice. Start with I’m sorry. Mirror. At least four seconds of silence to let the mirror work it’s magic. Repeat.
  • [10:33] Everything is learned it’s just that some people put their 10,000 hours in before others.
  • [11:33] There is nothing wrong with I’m sorry. It’s the context. It’s a great warning device.
  • [13:04] Mirror the last three words. People will expand.
  • [14:32] The difference between you are right and that’s right.
  • [15:55] Show that you understand and summarize the perspective and get to that’s right.
  • [16:45] We negotiate five or six times a day, especially with commitments of time.
  • [18:33] Some people want silence so they can think, but others think of it as an interpretation of anger. If you treat people the way you want to be treated you are wrong 2/3 of the time.
  • [19:51] Emotional intelligence is unlimited all you really have to do is try.
  • [23:00] Chris is a regular guy. He’s from a basic blue collar culture. He knew he wanted to go into law enforcement when he was 16, but he just envisioned himself at the police department.
  • [24:36] He was attracted to the big city environment and Kansas City. He was also in New York City for 14 years.
  • [25:06] Managing stress comes down to attitude. The difference between ordeal and adventure is mindset.
  • [27:19] Chris shares a hostage situation in Harlem. He practiced one-way dialogue. Calling out negative emotions diffuses them. Eventually, after 6 hours of no response the suspects came out.
  • [31:05] Chris has learned that he loves helping people make great deals. He has an impact and it is ongoing.
  • [31:58] They have a strategy of calling out all of the negatives that the other party may be feeling. This is called an accusations audit.
  • [33:20] One of Chris’s colleagues turned the tables on him.
  • [34:32] Chris’s biggest influences in life were his father and his mother.
  • [35:54] Both of Chris’s parents were entrepreneurs, and he always knew he wanted to be an entrepreneur.
  • [36:36] He has close colleagues, and his family is involved, and he’s helping the people who work with him.
  • [37:18] To be a good entrepreneur you need a team.
  • [39:04] Let the other side go first. Hear them out. Never be so right that you won’t go for something better.

Links and Resources:

Christopher Voss Recent PhotoNever Split The Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It
@VossNegotiation on Twitter
Chris Voss on Facebook
Chris Voss on LinkedIn
The Black Swan Group
@BlackSwanGrp on Twitter
The Black Swan Group on Facebook
The Talent Code: Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How.
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